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Title:
LOCALIZED REINFORCEMENT OF STACKED DISH PLATE HEAT EXCHANGERS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/056114
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A heat exchanger providing localized reinforcement around the base of the heat exchanger core so as to reinforce its connection to the base plate is disclosed. The heat exchanger comprises a base plate and a heat exchanger core disposed on the base plate, the heat exchanger core comprising a plurality of dished heat exchanger plates that are nested together in spaced apart relationship to one another forming alternating first and second fluid flow passages therebetween. Each dish plate has a base portion and an inclined, peripheral edge wall. At least one reinforcing member is provided that overlaps a portion of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate. Engaging features provided on the base plate and/or lowermost heat exchanger plate, serve to locate the reinforcing member in relation to the lowermost heat exchanger plate.

Inventors:
KENNEY, Benjamin (Oakville, Ontario L6K 3E4, L6K 3E4, CA)
FUKADA, Takayuki (Oakville, Ontario L6K 3E4, L6K 3E4, CA)
KROEKER, Jeremy (Oakville, Ontario L6K 3E4, L6K 3E4, CA)
Application Number:
CA2018/051182
Publication Date:
March 28, 2019
Filing Date:
September 20, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DANA CANADA CORPORATION (656 Kerr Street, Oakville, Ontario L6K 3E4, L6K 3E4, CA)
International Classes:
F28F9/007; F01M5/00; F28D9/00; F28F3/08
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017155802A12017-09-14
Foreign References:
US8181695B22012-05-22
US20070289721A12007-12-20
US20140311722A12014-10-23
US20160313073A12016-10-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RIDOUT & MAYBEE LLP (250 University Avenue, 5th floorToronto, Ontario M5H 3E5, M5H 3E5, CA)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A heat exchanger, comprising :

a base plate;

a heat exchanger core disposed on said base plate, the heat exchanger core comprising :

a plurality of dished heat exchanger plates that are nested together in spaced apart relationship to one another forming alternating first and second fluid flow passages therebetween, each dish plate having a base portion and an inclined, peripheral edge wall defining a perimeter of the heat exchanger plate, the peripheral edge wall having an outer surface;

wherein one of said plurality of dished heat exchanger plates is a lowermost heat exchanger plate, the base portion of the lowermost heat exchanger plate contacting the base plate;

at least one reinforcing member disposed adjacent a portion of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate in overlapping relationship such that a first side of the reinforcing member is disposed in surface-to- surface contact with the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate; and

engaging members for locating the at least one reinforcing member with respect to the lowermost heat exchanger plate and configured for receiving and mechanically engaging the at least one reinforcing member to one of the base plate and lowermost heat exchanger plate;

wherein the at least one reinforcing member extends along the portion of the peripheral edge wall by a distance that is less than the perimeter defined by the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate.

2. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 1, wherein the engaging members comprise:

at least one slot extending into said base plate, the reinforcing member having a first portion configured for insertion into the at least one slot and a second portion configured for overlapping and contacting the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate proximal said slot.

3. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 2, wherein the second portion of the reinforcing member is outwardly inclined with respect to the first portion.

4. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 2 or claim 3, wherein the at least one slot is curved.

5. The heat exchanger as claimed in any one of claims 2 to 4, wherein the at least one slot is straight or substantially straight.

6. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 2, wherein the heat exchanger core is generally rectangular having a pair of longitudinal sides and a pair of transverse sides and defining four corners of the heat exchanger core, the at least one slot disposed adjacent one of the corners of the heat exchanger core, the at least one slot having a portion that extends adjacent the longitudinal side of the heat exchanger core and adjacent the transverse side of the heat exchanger core.

7. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 6, wherein the at least one slot is a first slot, the base plate comprising a second slot disposed at a diagonally opposite corner of the heat exchanger core as the first slot; wherein a reinforcing member is disposed in each of said slots.

8. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 6, wherein the base plate comprises first, second, third and fourth slots, with one slot disposed at each of the corners of the heat exchanger core, wherein a reinforcing member is disposed in each of said slots.

9. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 5, wherein the heat exchanger core is generally rectangular having a pair of longitudinal sides and a pair of transverse sides, wherein the at least one slot is disposed adjacent one of the longitudinal or transverse sides of the heat exchanger core.

10. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 1, wherein the engaging members comprise:

a tab projecting out from the plane of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost plate and defining a receiving slot;

wherein a portion of the at least one receiving member is configured for insertion into said receiving slot.

11. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 10, wherein the tab extends

horizontally or substantially horizontally.

12. The heat as claimed in claim 10, wherein the tab extends vertically or

substantially vertically.

13. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 10, wherein the heat exchanger core is generally rectangular, the plurality of dished heat exchanger plates having a pair of longitudinal sides and a pair of transverse sides and defining four corners; and

a first tab is disposed on one of the longitudinal sides of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate and is oriented in a first horizontal or substantially horizontal direction, and a second tab is disposed on an adjacent transverse side of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate and is oriented in a second horizontal direction opposite to said first direction; and

wherein the reinforcing member has first and second spaced apart ends, each of said ends mechanically engaging a respective one of said first and second tabs.

14. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 11, wherein the reinforcing member has a longitudinal edge, the longitudinal edge disposed within the receiving slot for mechanically engaging the corresponding tab.

15. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 1, wherein the reinforcing member has a height that is the same as or substantially the same as the height of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate.

16. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 1, wherein the wherein the

reinforcing member has a height that is less than the height of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate.

17. A heat exchanger, comprising:

a base plate;

a heat exchanger core disposed on said base plate, the heat exchanger core comprising :

a plurality of dished heat exchanger plates that are nested together in spaced apart relationship to one another forming alternating first and second fluid flow passages therebetween, each dish plate having a base portion and an inclined, peripheral edge wall defining a perimeter of the heat exchanger plate, the peripheral edge wall having an outer surface;

wherein one of said plurality of dished heat exchanger plates is a lowermost heat exchanger plate, the base portion of the lowermost heat exchanger plate disposed in surface-to-surface contact with the base plate;

at least one reinforcing member extending from a portion of the edge of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate and disposed in overlapping relationship with the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate;

wherein the lowermost heat exchanger plate and the at least one reinforcing member are of unitary one-piece construction.

18. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 17, wherein the at least one

reinforcing member is curved about a corner of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost plate.

19. The heat exchanger as claimed in claim 17, wherein the heat exchanger core is generally rectangular, the plurality of dished heat exchanger plates each having a pair of longitudinal sides and a pair of transverse sides and defining four corners;

wherein the at least one reinforcing member overlaps one of the longitudinal sides or one of the transverse sides of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate.

20. The heat exchanger as claimed in any one of claims 17 to 19, wherein a plurality of reinforcing members are disposed at spaced apart intervals around the perimeter of the lowermost heat exchanger plate, wherein each of the plurality of reinforcing members extends along the portion of the peripheral edge wall by a distance that is less than the perimeter defined by the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate.

Description:
LOCALIZED REINFORCEMENT OF STACKED DISH PLATE

HEAT EXCHANGERS

FIELD

[0001] The present disclosure relates to heat exchangers, and in particular to heat exchangers formed of a plurality of stacked or nested dish-type plates with overlapping peripheral walls.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Heat exchangers, such as engine oil coolers and transmission oil coolers, are typically bolted to a metal casting that supplies the heat exchanger fluids, such as oil and sometimes the coolant, to the heat exchanger. The heat exchangers typically are made up of a base plate and a core where the core includes alternating hot and cold fluid channels. The base plate of the heat exchanger is normally bolted to the metal casting with sufficient force so as to compress rubber gaskets that seal off the oil channels and the coolant channels.

[0003] Due to oil pressure fluctuations that occur during the normal operation of a vehicle, the pressure within the fluid channels of the heat exchanger can also increase which can exert pressure against the gasket sealing area between the heat exchanger core and the base plate.

[0004] Heat exchanger plates are typically made of thin sheets of material. A difficulty with this is that some of the heat exchanger plates, usually the ones attached to the mounting plate, are prone to failure due to the internal pressure stresses, thermal stresses, etc. that are transmitted to the heat exchanger through the base plate from the casting or through fluid hoses that are attached to the heat exchanger through the base plate.

[0005] Generally, the location of the highest stress or failure is on the first channel or the lowermost heat exchanger plate in the stack of heat exchanger plates where the heat exchanger core is attached to the base plate. Accordingly, in some instances, in order to improve durability, the thickness of the material used to form the lowermost plate in the stack is increased and/or the thickness of the base plate is increased . In other instances an extra dish plate is added to the bottom of the heat exchanger core. Up-gauging of the materials used to form the heat exchanger core and/or base plate, and adding additional heat exchanger plates in order to strengthen the heat exchanger core and its attachment to the base plate all add material to the heat exchanger structure and increase the overall weight of the heat exchanger and base plate. These techniques tend to increase material costs as well as the overall manufacturing costs of the heat exchanger. In automobile applications, increased weight and size (e.g height) of components can also have an impact on the overall performance of the associated automobile.

[0006] With ever increasing demands to reduce material costs as well as to reduce overall weight of vehicle components, heat exchangers with improved durability that also offer reduced manufacturing costs and reduced overall component weight and size are desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] According to an example embodiment of the present disclosure there is provided a heat exchanger, comprising a base plate; a heat exchanger core disposed on said base plate, the heat exchanger core comprising a plurality of dished heat exchanger plates that are nested together in spaced apart relationship to one another forming alternating first and second fluid flow passages

therebetween, each dish plate having a base portion and an inclined, peripheral edge wall defining a perimeter of the heat exchanger plate, the peripheral edge wall having an outer surface; wherein one of said plurality of dished heat exchanger plates is a lowermost heat exchanger plate, the base portion of the lowermost heat exchanger plate contacting the base plate; at least one reinforcing member disposed adjacent a portion of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate in overlapping relationship such that a first side of the reinforcing member is disposed in surface-to-surface contact with an outer surface of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate; and engaging members for locating the at least one reinforcing member with respect to the lowermost heat exchanger plate and configured for receiving and mechanically engaging the at least one reinforcing member to one of the base plate and lowermost heat exchanger plate; wherein the at least one reinforcing member extends along the portion of the peripheral edge wall by a distance that is less than the perimeter defined by the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate.

[0008] According to another example embodiment of the present disclosure there is provided a heat exchanger, comprising a base plate; a heat exchanger core disposed on said base plate, the heat exchanger core comprising a plurality of dished heat exchanger plates that are nested together in spaced apart relationship to one another forming alternating first and second fluid flow passages

therebetween, each dish plate having a base portion and an inclined, peripheral edge wall defining a perimeter of the heat exchanger plate, the peripheral edge wall having an outer surface; wherein one of said plurality of dished heat exchanger plates is a lowermost heat exchanger plate, the base portion of the lowermost heat exchanger plate disposed in surface-to-surface contact with the base plate; at least one reinforcing member extending from a portion of the edge of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate and disposed in overlapping relationship with the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate; wherein the lowermost heat exchanger plate and the at least one reinforcing member are of unitary one-piece construction .

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] Reference will now be made, by way of example, to the accompanying drawings which show example embodiments of the present application, and in which : [0010] Figure 1 is a perspective view of an example embodiment of a heat exchanger with localized reinforcement according to the present disclosure;

[0011] Figure 2 is a perspective view of the heat exchanger of Figure 1 with the top closure plate and fluid connections removed;

[0012] Figure 3 is a perspective view of the base plate with reinforcing members of Figure 1 ;

[0013] Figure 4 is a detail, perspective view of one of the reinforcing members from the base plate shown in Figure 3;

[0014] Figure 4A is a detail perspective view of one of the reinforcing members according to an alternate embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0015] Figure 5 is a perspective view of the base plate of Figure 2 with some reinforcing members removed;

[0016] Figure 5A is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the base plate according to the present disclosure;

[0017] Figure 5B is an exploded view of an alternate embodiment of the base plate according to the present disclosure.

[0018] Figure 6 is a detail view of the area 6-6 included in Figure 5;

[0019] Figure 7 is a detail, perspective view of the localized reinforcements of a heat exchanger according to another example embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0020] Figure 8 is a detail, perspective view of the localized reinforcements of a heat exchanger according to another example embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0021] Figure 9 is a schematic perspective view of a portion of a heat exchanger with localized reinforcements according to another example

embodiment of the present disclosure; [0022] Figure 10 is a schematic perspective view of a portion of a heat exchanger with localized reinforcements according to another example

embodiment of the present disclosure;

[0023] Figure 11 is a detail section view taken along section line A-A shown in Figures 9 and 10;

[0024] Figure 12 is a schematic perspective view of a portion of a heat exchanger with localized reinforcements according to another example embodiment of the present disclosure.

[0025] Similar reference numerals may have been used in different figures to denote similar components.

DESCRIPTION OF EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

[0026] Terms such as "front", "rear", "side", "top", "bottom", "upper", "lower", etc. , are used herein as terms of convenience, and do not indicate that the heat exchangers described herein are required to have any particular orientation in use.

[0027] Throughout the description and drawings, like reference numerals are used to identify like elements of the various embodiments described herein .

[0028] A heat exchanger according to an example embodiment of the present disclosure is now described with reference to Figures 1 to 6.

[0029] Referring to Figure 1, heat exchanger 10 is in the form of a nested dish plate heat exchanger. Heat exchanger 10 comprises a heat exchanger core 12 that is mounted to base plate 14. The heat exchanger core 12 is comprised of a plurality of alternating first and second heat exchanger plates or core plates 16, 18 disposed in alternating layers forming alternating first and second fluid flow passages therebetween 20, 22. Only a few of the nested dish style heat exchanger plates 16, 18 are shown for illustration purposes. However, it will be understood that the exact number of core plates 16, 18 used to form the heat exchanger will vary depending on the particular design and application of the heat exchanger.

[0030] The first and second heat exchanger plates 16, 18 each comprise a generally planar base portion 24 that is surrounded by an inclined peripheral edge wall 26. When the first and second heat exchanger plates 16, 18 are disposed in alternating layers to form the heat exchanger core 12, each heat exchanger plate 16, 18 nests within the boundary formed by the peripheral edge wall 26 of the adjacent heat exchanger plate 16, 18 thereby spacing apart the generally planar base portions 24 of adjacent heat exchanger plates 16, 18. The first and second fluid flow passages 20, 22, therefore, are formed between the spaced-apart base portions 24 of adjacent heat exchanger plates 16, 18 and alternate through the heat exchanger core 12.

[0031] Corresponding pairs of inlet and outlet openings 28, 30 and 32, 34 are formed in the base portion 20 of the first and second plates 16, 18. When the first and second heat exchanger plates 16, 18 are arranged in alternating layers to form the core 12, the corresponding pairs of inlet and outlet openings 28, 30 and 32, 34 align forming respective inlet and outlet manifolds for inletting and discharging the first and second heat exchanger fluids that flow through the heat exchanger 10. Accordingly, the inlet and outlet openings of each of the corresponding pairs of inlet and outlet openings 28, 30 and 32, 34 are interconnected by either the first or second fluid flow passages 20, 22 formed between the plates 16, 18.

[0032] The heat exchanger plates 16, 18 and the corresponding pairs of inlet and outlet openings 28, 30 and 32, 34 can be formed in accordance with principles known in the art to achieve a desired flow path through the heat exchanger 10. Accordingly, some openings may be formed in bosses that project out of the base portion 24 of the plates 16, 18 while others may be formed within the generally planar surface of the base portion 24. The uppermost heat exchanger plate may have a different design that the other heat exchanger plates that form the heat exchanger core 12 with all of the openings 28, 30, 32, 34 formed in the planar base portion 24 of the plate or with some openings being sealed. The specific design of the uppermost heat exchanger plate will depend on the desired flow path through the heat exchanger core and the location of the inlet and outlet fittings for the various fluids flowing through the heat exchanger. Therefore, the present disclosure is not intended to be limited to a particular design of heat exchanger plates 16, 18 other than the fact that the heat exchanger plates 16, 18 are nested dish-style plates with peripheral edge walls that nest within in each other in a leak-tight manner when the plates 16, 18 are arranged in a stack to form the heat exchanger core 12.

[0033] Base plate 14 is disposed at the bottom end or underneath the heat exchanger core 12. Base plate 14 is generally formed from a higher gauge or greater thickness of material than the material used to form the heat exchanger plates 16, 18 and defines a surface area that is larger than the footprint of the heat exchanger core 12 on which the heat exchanger core 12 is received. Accordingly, portions of the base plate 14 extend beyond the perimeter of footprint defined by the heat exchanger core 12. The heat exchanger core 12 is typically brazed to the base plate 14 in accordance with principles known in the art. However, any suitable method of attaching the heat exchanger core 12 to the base plate 14 is contemplated within the scope of the present disclosure.

[0034] The base plate 14 may be of any shape provided that the base plate 14 defines a surface area on a first side of the base plate 14 that is large enough to accommodate placement of the heat exchanger core 12 and provides sufficient surface area on a second side of the base plate, generally opposite to the first side, for mounting the overall heat exchanger assembly to the housing of an automobile engine component, for example. [0035] In some embodiments, at least one pair of inlet and outlet openings (not shown) for one of the fluids flowing through the heat exchanger 10 is formed in the base plate 14 when the heat exchanger and base plate are mounted directly to the casing of an automobile component. In other embodiments, all of the fluid connections are made at the top end of the heat exchanger 10 (as shown in Figure 1) and the base plate 14 is free of any fluid inlet and outlet openings as shown in Figures 1-8. In embodiments where inlet and outlet openings are formed in the base plate for aligning with a corresponding pair of inlet and outlet openings 28, 30 or 32, 34 formed in the heat exchanger plates 16, 18 for the inletting and discharging of one of the fluid entering and exiting the heat exchanger 10, the base plate 14 may include additional features such as a groove or recessed channel (not shown) formed in the surface of the base plate 14 around each of the openings to accommodate an appropriate gasket seal for sealing against the bottom of the heat exchanger core 12 when it is mounted on or attached to the base plate 14.

[0036] One or more mounting holes 36 may be formed in base plate 14 for receiving any suitable fasteners (not shown) for securely mounting the heat exchanger 10 and base plate 14 to the housing of the automobile component (not shown) . The mounting holes 36 may be spaced around the perimeter of the base plate 14 and may be of varying size. In some embodiments, mounting holes 36 may also be threaded .

[0037] In an effort to increase durability of the of the heat exchanger 10 and base plate 14 assembly, in some embodiments, additional reinforcing elements are provided at specific locations about the periphery of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 within the heat exchanger core 12. Therefore, in some embodiments, for example, the heat exchanger comprises at least one reinforcing member 42 disposed adjacent a portion of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 in overlapping relationship with the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 such that a first side of the reinforcing member 42 is disposed in surface-to-surface contact with the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16. The heat exchanger further comprises engaging members 51 for locating the at least one reinforcing member 42 with respect to the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16, wherein the engaging members 51 are configured for receiving and mechanically engaging the at least one reinforcing member 42 such that the at least one reinforcing member 42 is disposed in engagement with one of the base plate and lowermost heat exchanger plate, and wherein the at least one reinforcing member 42 extends along the portion of the peripheral edge wall 26 by a distance that is less than the perimeter defined by the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate. In some embodiments, for example, the engaging members 51 include slots 40 disposed in the base plate 14 for receiving and engaging with a corresponding portion of the reinforcing members 42. In some embodiments, for example, the engaging members 51 include tabs 60 disposed in the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 for receiving and engaging with a corresponding portion of the reinforcing members 42.

[0038] Referring now to Figures 3-6, in some embodiments, the base plate 40 includes one or more slots 40 that are formed in or disposed at one or more locations in base plate 14. The one or more slots 40 are disposed at locations on the base plate 14 that correspond to a portion, or portions, of the perimeter (or footprint) of the heat exchanger 10 that is positioned on the base plate 14 that are known to be exposed to, or to be subject to, higher levels of stress when in use. High stress areas are often associated with the lowermost fluid channel of the heat exchanger core 12, e.g. the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 in the stack of heat exchanger plates 16, 18 forming the core 12, in the areas proximal the gasket sealing areas where the heat exchanger core 12 meets the base plate 14 and with the interface between the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 in the stack and the base plate or mounting plate 14. At least one reinforcing member 42 is disposed adjacent a portion of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16, in overlapping relationship, such that a first side of the reinforcing member 42 is disposed in surface-to-surface contact with the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost plate, for example, through brazing . In some embodiments, for example, the at least one reinforcing member 42 extends along the portion of the peripheral edge wall 26 by a distance that is less than the perimeter defined by the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16, the reinforcing member 42 targeting specific areas known to be subject to high stress for a particular application of the heat exchanger.

[0039] Referring now to Figure 5 there is shown an example embodiment of a base plate 14 wherein four separate slots 40 are disposed within the base plate 14 at areas or locations that correspond to the location of each of the corners of the heat exchanger 10 when the heat exchanger 10 is positioned on base plate 14. In the subject example embodiment, slots 40 are shaped, in this case curved, so as to correspond to or follow the curvature of the rounded corners of the heat exchanger plates 16, 18 that form the heat exchanger core 12. However, it will be understood that the slots 40 may be adapted or specifically configured to correspond to the shape or configuration of the corresponding heat exchanger core 12 which may or may not have rounded corners. While four separate slots 40 are shown in Figure 3, it will be understood that there may be more or less slots 40 provided in the base plate 14 depending upon the particular stress plot for a particular heat exchanger 10. The slots 40 are configured such that they extend into the base plate 14 so as to have a depth sufficient to receive a corresponding portion of the reinforcing members 42 such that the reinforcing members 42 are engaged and retained with the corresponding slot 40. The overall size and depth of the slots 40 is such that it does not compromise the overall integrity of the base plate 14. In some

embodiments, for example, the slots 40 may extend through the base plate 14. In some embodiments, the slots 40 may have a depth that is between about 25%- 75% of the overall thickness of the base plate 14. In some embodiments, for example, the base plate 14 may have a thickness between about 8mm- 10mm and the slot may have a depth of about 4mm-5mm . [0040] In some embodiments, for example, reinforcing members 42 are disposed in each of the slots 40 provided in the base plate 14. In the subject example embodiment, reinforcing members 42 are thin strips of material, sometimes referred to as shims, that are configured to have a portion that is received within the corresponding slot 40 for mechanically engaging with the slot 40 and that are configured to conform or correspond to the shape of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 of the heat exchanger core 12 associated with or proximally adjacent the slot 40. In the example embodiment shown in Figures 3-5 where the slots 40 are disposed at each of the four corners of a generally rectangular heat exchanger 10 having rounded corners, the reinforcing members 42 are also rounded so as to correspond to the curvature of the heat exchanger corners.

[0041] Referring to Figure 4, reinforcing members 42 have a first portion or first part 48 configured for insertion into the slots 40 and a second part 50 that extends upwardly from the base plate 14 so as to overlap at least a portion of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the adjacent first or lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 in the stack. Accordingly, in some embodiments, for example, the second part 50 of the reinforcing member 42 comprises a wall portion that is inclined so as to correspond to the angle of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate such that the second part 50 or wall portion of the reinforcing member 42 is in surface-to-surface contact with the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the first heat exchanger plate 16. Accordingly, the reinforcing members 42 provide both a point of mechanical or interlocking, mating

engagement as well as overlapping or surface-to-surface contact with the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the first or lowermost plate 16 so as to provide an area of increased thickness around the periphery of the heat exchanger core at its interface with the base plate 14, the reinforcing member 42 bonding or becoming fixed to the peripheral edge wall 26 when the heat exchanger core 12 and base plate 14 are brazed or otherwise secured together. [0042] In some embodiments, for example, the width or height h i of the second portion 50 of the reinforcing member 42, or the distance which it extends up the peripheral edge wall 26 (or overlaps the peripheral edge wall 26) of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 is at least 1mm. The upper limit of the height or width hi of the second part 50 of the reinforcing member 42, 42', or the height or distance which it extends up or overlaps the peripheral edge wall 26 is defined by the overall height of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16. In some embodiments, the width or height hi of the second portion 50 of the reinforcing member 42, 42', is between about 8 to 8.5mm. In some

embodiments, the width or height of the second portion 50 of the reinforcing member 42, 42', is about 8.3mm .

[0043] In some embodiments, for example, the overall length of the second part 50 of the reinforcing member 42 is longer than the overall length of the corresponding slot 40. Accordingly, in some embodiments, the second part 50 of the reinforcing member 42 may have ends 52 that extend beyond the ends 54 of the first part 58 of the reinforcing member 42 by a distance d, as shown for instance in Figure 4. In some embodiments, for example, the distance d by which the second part 50 may extend longitudinally beyond the ends of the first part 48 of the reinforcing member is between about 6.35mm to about 12.70mm. In some embodiments, the distance d by which the second part 50 may extend

longitudinally beyond the ends of the first part 48 of the reinforcing member is less than 6.35mm, for example, about 5mm. However, as described above, in the subject example embodiment the second part 50 of the reinforcing member 42 extends along and overlaps a portion of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost plate by a distance that is less than the overall length defined by the perimeter of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16. In some embodiments, for example, the height h2 of the first part 48 of the reinforcing member 42 is between about 3.5mm to about 4.5mm, the first part 48 being received with a slot 42 having a depth sufficient for receiving the first part 48. In some embodiments, the first part 48 has a height h2 of about 3.9mm. [0044] In some embodiments, for example, the reinforcing member 42 defines a length corresponding to the distance that the reinforcing member 42 extends along the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 26, which, in some embodiments, is a distance that is less than half the distance defined by the perimeter of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate. In some embodiments, for example, the reinforcing member 42 extends along the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lower most heat exchanger plate by a distance that is less than one quarter of the distance defined by the perimeter of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 26. [0045] In some embodiments, for example, when the reinforcing member 42 is disposed at a corner of the heat exchanger, the reinforcing member 42 may extend along a portion of the peripheral edge wall 26 by a distance that is less than about 15% of the total perimeter of the peripheral edge wall 26, the reinforcing member 42 including an arcuate section 42( 1) corresponding to the arcuate corner of the heat exchanger core 12, the arcuate section 42( 1) being disposed between two extension portions 42(2) that extend along the corresponding longitudinal or transverse side of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16. In some embodiments, for example, the reinforcing member 42 includes an arcuate section 42(2) having a length between about 30-35mm with extension portions 42(2) each having a length between about 1mm to about 20mm. In some embodiments, for example, the extension portions 42(2) each have a length between about 1mm to about 20mm. In some embodiments, for example, the extension portions 42(2) each have a length between about 8mm to about 15mm. In some embodiments, for example, the arcuate section 42(1) has a length of about 32.8mm and the extension portions 42(2) each have a length of about 10.0mm.

[0046] In some embodiments, for example, the slots 40 are disposed at specific areas along the longitudinal sides or side edges of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 or along the transverse sides or end edges of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 as opposed to the corners as shown for instance in Figure 5A. When the reinforcing member 42 is disposed along a longitudinal side of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16, the reinforcing member 42 may extend along a portion of the peripheral edge wall 26 by a distance that is between about 50-60% of the overall length of the heat exchanger core 12. In some embodiments, for example, when the reinforcing member 42 is disposed along a longitudinal side of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 it has a length that is about 5mm . The upper limit of the length of reinforcing member 42 when disposed along a longitudinal side of the peripheral edge 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate is defined by the overall length of the longitudinal side edge of the peripheral edge wall 26.

[0047] In use, in some embodiments, for example, the reinforcing members 42 are disposed in mating relationship with the base plate 14 prior to the heat exchanger core 12 being positioned on the base plate 14. Accordingly, once the reinforcing members 42 are disposed in mating relationship with the base plate 14, the reinforcing members 42 can serve to locate the heat exchanger core 12 relative to the base plate 14 while also providing reinforcement at the interface between the heat exchanger core 12 and the base plate 14 when the entire assembly is brazed or otherwise secured together.

[0048] Referring now to Figure 5B, in some embodiments, for example, rather than providing slots 40 in the base plate 14 itself, a intervening shim plate 41 may be provided that is disposed between the bottom of the heat exchanger core 12 and the base plate 14 with the slots 40 being disposed within the shim plate. While the shim plate 41 will generally have a thickness that is less than the overall thickness of the base plate 14, the shim plate will have sufficient thickness to allow for the slot 40 to have sufficient depth to receive and mechanically engage with the first part 48 of the corresponding reinforcing member 42. In addition to including the slots 40, the shim plate 41 can facilitate the brazing together of the heat exchanger core 12 and the base plate 14 as shown for instance in Figure 5B. In some embodiments, the shim plate 41 may have the same shape as the base plate 14 while in other embodiments the shim plate 41 may only overlap and cover a portion of the upper surface of the base plate 14. [0049] In some embodiments, for example, rather than providing slots 40 in the base plate 14 for receiving and engaging with the reinforcing members 42, the reinforcing members 42 may be configured such that the first part 48 is disposed generally perpendicular relative to the second part 50 of the reinforcing member 42, as shown for instance in Figure 4A, such that the first part 48 is disposed in a plane generally parallel to the plane of the upper surface or first side of the base plate 14 so that it can be secured to the base plate 14 by riveting or flame brazing or welding, for example.

[0050] In some embodiments, the reinforcing members 42 are disposed in engagement with the slots 40 formed in base plate 14, the heat exchanger core 12 then being positioned on the base plate 14, the reinforcing members 42 therefore assisting with locating the heat exchanger core 12 relative to the base plate 14. In such embodiments, the corresponding slots 40 also assist with maintaining the reinforcing members 42 in position relative to the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 of the heat exchanger core when the assembly is brazed or otherwise secured together.

[0051] In some embodiments, the heat exchanger core 12 can be brazed or otherwise secured to the base plate 14 prior to the positioning of the reinforcing members 42, the reinforcing members 42 then being flame brazed or welded in position relative to the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16. Accordingly, in some embodiments, the reinforcing members 42 may be a strip of material that follows a portion of the peripheral edge wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 that is flame brazed or welded in position after the heat exchanger core is brazed or otherwise secured to the base plate 14, as shown for example, in Figure 12. [0052] Referring now to Figures 7-8 there is shown another example embodiment of a heat exchanger according to the present disclosure. In the subject example embodiment, rather than having slots 40 formed in the base plate 14 for receiving and engaging with a corresponding portion of the reinforcing member 42, engaging tabs 60 are disposed at locations along the peripheral edge wall 26 of the first or lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 in the stack of heat exchanger plates 16, 18 that form the heat exchanger core 12. The tabs 60 are configured for engaging with corresponding reinforcing members 42' so as to locate the

reinforcing member 42' against the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the heat exchanger plate 16 at predetermined locations that correspond to areas of high stress or that are prone to failure. In some embodiments, for example, the reinforcing members 42' are strips or lengths of material having a width or height that generally corresponds to, or substantially corresponds to, the height of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the first or lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 in the stack of heat exchanger plates 16, 18. In some embodiments, for example, the reinforcing members 42' include first and second parts 48, 50 like the reinforcing members 42 described in connection with the previous example embodiment.

[0053] Tabs 60 may be formed from small strips of material that are cut or punched out from the peripheral edge wall 26 of the first exchanger plate 16.

Accordingly, in some embodiments, for example, the tabs 60 have a first end 62 that is integral with or that forms part of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the plate 16 and a second, free end 64 that is bent out of the plane of the peripheral edge wall 26 such that the second, free end 64 is spaced apart from the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall 26, the tab 60 extending continuously between the first and second ends 62, 64. The tab 60 may be bent or otherwise configured so that the second end 64 is spaced apart from the plane of the peripheral edge wall 26 forming a gap or receiving slot 66 between an inner surface of the tab 60 and the remaining portion of the outer surface of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the heat exchanger plate 16 for receiving a portion of the corresponding reinforcing member 42'. [0054] Corresponding pairs of tabs 60 may be arranged at various locations around the peripheral wall of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16, for example on the longitudinal edges of the peripheral edge wall 26 as well as on the end edges of the peripheral wall 26 so as to accommodate reinforcing members that are contoured or configured to extend around the corners of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 in the heat exchanger core 12 for receiving and engaging with the corresponding respective ends of the reinforcing members 42', 42. In other embodiments, for example, corresponding pairs of tabs 60 may be arranged on the longitudinal or side edges of the peripheral edge wall 26 and/or on the end edges of the peripheral edge wall 26 to accommodate straight reinforcing members 42', 42 that overlap only the longitudinal sides or the ends or transverse sides of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16.

[0055] In some embodiments, for example, the tabs 60 are disposed such that they extend generally horizontally for receiving and engaging with a

corresponding end edge 43 of the reinforcing member 42' as shown in Figure 7 where the end edge 43 extends generally perpendicular to the corresponding tab 60.

[0056] In other embodiments, for example, the tabs 60 may extend vertically relative to the top edge of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the heat exchanger plate with the free end 64 of the tab 60 extending generally downwardly from the edge of the peripheral edge wall 26 for engaging with a corresponding longitudinal, upper edge 45 of the reinforcing member 42' as shown, for example, in Figure 8. In the subject example embodiment, it will be understood that the overall height of the reinforcing member 42' is less than the overall height of the of peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 such that the reinforcing member 42' can be inserted underneath the downwardly depending tabs 60.

[0057] In some embodiments, for example, the portion of the reinforcing member 42, 42' that overlaps the peripheral edge wall 26 of the adjacent heat exchanger plate 16 has a height that corresponds to the overall height of the peripheral edge wall 26. In other embodiments, the reinforcing member 42, 42' extends only partially up the peripheral edge wall 26 of the adjacent plate 16.

[0058] Referring now to Figures 9-12, rather than modifying base plate 14 to include slots 40 for receiving corresponding reinforcing members 42 and rather than modifying the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16 in the stack to include corresponding pairs of tabs 60 for receiving and engaging with corresponding reinforcing members 42, 42', localized reinforcement for areas of high stress may also be provided by modifying the first or lowermost heat exchanger plate 16' so that the peripheral edge wall 26 has a double-wall construction in the areas known to be subject to high stress so as to effectively double the thickness of the peripheral edge wall 26 in those areas without relying on the use of a separate reinforcing member 42. Accordingly, in the subject example embodiment, the first or lowermost heat exchanger plate 16' will have a different or modified construction as compared to the other first and second heat exchanger plates 16, 18 that are used to form the heat exchanger core 12. More specifically, the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16' will be specifically configured such that in areas known to be subject to high stress, the peripheral edge wall 26 of the first or lowermost heat exchanger plate 16' will have an inconsistent profile or will include areas of uneven height around the perimeter of the heat exchanger plate 16' where tabs 70 of material extend from the edge of the peripheral edge wall 26, which tabs 70 are then folded down over the outer surface of the

peripheral edge wall 26 effectively doubling the wall thickness in the critical areas of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16' and serving as reinforcement members 42". Accordingly, the tabs 70 and the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16' are of unitary one piece construction.

[0059] In some embodiments, for example, the tabs of material 70 extend from the corners of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16', as shown for instance in Figure 9 so as to provide reinforcement in the corner areas of the heat exchanger plate 16'. Figure 11 illustrates a cross-sectional view through the reinforcing member 42" formed by the tab of material 70 showing the double-wall thickness this region. In some embodiments, for example, the tabs of material 70 extend from the longitudinal side edges of the peripheral edge wall 26 of the lowermost heat exchanger plate 16' as shown for instance in Figure 10.

[0060] While various example embodiments have been described, it will be understood that certain adaptations and modifications of the described embodiments can be made. Therefore, the above discussed embodiments are considered to be illustrative and not restrictive.